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Autistic Adults Online

An ESRC-funded project investigating how autistic adults use social media to build and maintain relationships.

The aim of the study is to examine how autistic adults use social networking sites to maintain existing social relationships or create new ones. Understanding how autistic individuals use language, images, as well as different technological tools to communicate in social media is important for the design of environments that are inclusive of autistic user abilities and preferences. The study will help inform initiatives that use digital networking technologies to improve the quality of life of autistic adults.

The project runs from December 2020 to December 2022.

To learn more about how autistic adults use and experience social media, you can read personal experiences on our blog page.

Blogs: Experiences of Autistic Adults Online

  • Workshop 3: Designing a new social media platform
    In this blogpost series, we discuss our 3 participatory design workshops about social media. The first instalment of the series provides an overview of the research activity. The second instalment is dedicated to workshop 1. The third blogpost is about workshop 2. This fourth one discusses our third and final workshop.  Workshop 1 was mostly about theContinue reading “Workshop 3: Designing a new social media platform”
  • Workshop 2: Desirable social media futures
    In this blogpost series, we discuss our 3 participatory design workshops about social media. The first instalment of the series provides an overview of the workshops. The second instalment talks about workshop 1. In this third post in the series, we will tell you about workshop 2.   While workshop 1 was mostly about the present ofContinue reading “Workshop 2: Desirable social media futures”
  • Workshop 1: The present of social media
    In our previous blogpost, we introduced our 3 participatory design workshops about social media. In this blogpost, we will tell you about our first workshop, which was dedicated to the present of social media.   Our first workshop had 2 main goals: Getting to know each other, and  Becoming familiar with the existing data  GettingContinue reading “Workshop 1: The present of social media”
  • Reinventing social media
    Between January and early May 2022 we were busy organising and running participatory design workshops about social media.  Participatory design is a movement that aims to democratise the process of making technology. Participatory designers believe that all of us should have a say in what technology does and how it behaves. Therefore the objective of our workshopsContinue reading “Reinventing social media”
  • Jack
    If there is a common pattern to be found among most, if not all, social media profiles it is one persona that emerges: we are all PR managers. For a large section, this kind of depiction is deeply distasteful – perhaps even a slur. Regardless of the platform though, it is hard to overlook how each of us, more obviously for business and organisation channels, seek to cultivate a certain image in a light we want others to perceive us.